VAN NUYS : Death of Man Subdued by Police Remains Unclear

The county coroner's office on Tuesday had not determined a cause of death for a 27-year-old Van Nuys man who had slashed himself with a piece of broken glass and was subdued by police with Taser darts and a baton blow to the chest.

A coroner's spokesman said a cause might be released this morning. But the determination might be delayed for two weeks if further tests are needed to see whether drugs or alcohol were involved, the spokesman said.

David Martinez died early Monday morning about 80 minutes after police encountered him at his Van Nuys apartment.

He was bleeding profusely and sawing at his throat with a piece of broken glass, apparently distraught over problems in his marriage. Police struck Martinez across the chest with a baton and fired four Taser darts at him to subdue him.

The darts are charged with electricity that temporarily stuns and immobilizes.

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